I was asked to choose a performance of the opening of the Jewish Yom Kippur/ Day of Atonement evening service. Probably the most awe-inspiring Jewish prayer to hear, it isn’t actually a prayer at all, being best described as a legal statement of intent.
Apart from the quality, this version stands out because of the absence of musical instruments, microphones, and women’s voices, all of which would play no part in the set piece in an orthodox service. Sung in the white robes of the Yom Kippur service by Avraham Feintuch.
Choir conducted by Naftali Herstik. Ieshurun sinagogue, Jerusalem city.
“All vows, and prohibitions, and oaths, and consecrations, and konams and konasi and any synonymous terms, that we may vow, or swear, or consecrate, or prohibit upon ourselves, •from the previous Day of Atonement until this Day of Atonement and …• ♦from this Day of Atonement until the [next] Day of Atonement that will come for our benefit.♦ Regarding all of them, we repudiate them. All of them are undone, abandoned, cancelled, null and void, not in force, and not in effect. Our vows are no longer vows, and our prohibitions are no longer prohibitions, and our oaths are no longer oaths.” Wikipedia
It is worth a thought that this is repeated three times back to back in the synagogue service. Aerist believes that a hidden trap on the spiritual path is the vows that we have made to self and others, which include our conditioning and baggage (from now on I will behave like this), if you will. This all becomes part of our false identity and we stop seeing it clearly. They need to be recognized, rooted out, and left behind, in order to move forward. As a famous Master once said “I die daily.”
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